Diseases of different causes are known to be more prevalent in warm climates than in temperate zones. This is because, apart from the tropical diseases, the ailments occurring in other parts of the world exist here as well. Warm condition favors the growth of microorganisms, including disease-causing fungi. Insects and animals, acting as germ carriers, are present in large numbers, many of which breed the year round.
One example of a warm-climate ailment is sporotrichosis. This disease is a chronic infection that usually begins as a firm, elastic, movable nodule underneath the skin (usually at the site of an injury). Initial lesions resemble boils, warts, or chancres. The causative organisms are disseminated in the body through the lymph channels to various lymph nodes. The lymph vessels may become inflamed and thickened, feeling like cords beneath the skin. Nodules may form almost anywhere in the body – muscles, joints, bones, and various organs. The lungs seem most likely to be damaged.
The organism that causes sporotrichosis is the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. These fungi are rarely found in tissues; but in experimentally infected rats, these fungi are gram-positive, resembling fusiform bacilli, in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. On brain-heart-infusion agar, colonies are soft and composed of budding, yeastlike, cigar-shaped cells with a few mycelial elements. If this warm-climate ailment is left without treatment, the infection may continue to exist for several years; the overall health, however, is not often much affected.
Those infected with sporotrichosis should not attempt self-treatment; no local treatment will help. Also, symptomatic treatment is not often needed. A person who suspects he is infected with this warm-climate ailment should consult a physician immediately. If the physician finds the disease present, he will probably prescribe potassium iodide. He may also see the need for the administration of amphotericin B, which has proved useful in treating cases of diseases in which the joints and bones are involved.
Prevention of a warm-climate ailment, such as sporotrichosis, requires sanitation, good personal health habits, and the fight against germs and other known vectors. In places without completely safe water, for example, all drinking water (preferably drawn out through a faucet) should be boiled and then kept in a tightly covered container. Another example is thoroughly cleansing and disinfecting (with solutions of chloride of lime, for example) vegetables and fruits that are intended to be eaten raw. While these steps are important anywhere, they are especially important in warm climates.
1. “Sporotrichosis”, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD) – http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/sporotrichosis_gi.html
2. “Sporotrichosis”, on emedicine, by William P. Baugh, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of California Irvine School of Medicine and Western School of Medicine, Medical Director, Full Spectrum Dermatology, Consulting Staff, Department of Dermatology, St. Jude Medical Center; Cynthia L. Chen, BA, Clinical Assistant, Full Spectrum Dermatology; and Brad S. Graham, MD, Consulting Staff, Dermatology Associates of Tyler, East Texas Medical Center, Trinity Mother Francis Hospital – http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/968902-overview